Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Travel Scarf 1

Here is a picture of one of my traveling companion working on our scarves somewhere on the city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia. At this spot we did a rubbing of a grape vine leaf. We did the leaf as we were hard pressed to find anything that looked like it might work. A few minutes later, around the next corner, we found a stone carved with the name of St Margit. One of our traveling companions was called Peggy so out came her scarf and we captured her name on her scarf.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I took along a silk satin scarf that I had already rust dyed, three colors of iridescence paint sticks, some paper towels, baby wipes and a Pigma pen. Using all those things I was able to collect textures and words from my travels. Hopefully I will post more about it soon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I am going on a little vacation

I won't be post anything for the next two weeks as I am taking a much needed vacation. I will be back after October 10th. The rust dyeing season might be over by then. I hope not because I do need to rust up some more stuff for International Quilt Festival in Chicago in April of 2008. Not only am I teaching rust dyeing there but I will be a vendor. And I am giving my funniest lecture, "Tales From the UFO Club".

Check back here after October 10th or keep an eye open for me in Florence, Venice and cruising the Adriatic!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Quilt Expo in Madison, WI

If you are within 100 miles of Madison, WI be sure to come to Quilt Expo this week-end. (Actually The show is Thursday through Saturday, 9am-6pm daily). My booth number is 622. I will be selling Rust-Tex fabric. It is soooooooo much better in the cloth than over the internet. Hope you can make it.Just wanted you all to know why I am not posting this week. I am otherwise engaged!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Quick Apology

Just a quick post tonight. I am sorry. I spent many hours today working on photos for the Rust-Tex Store (which should be up and running this week-end.) instead of preparing my moonrise photos as I promised yesterday. But here is a preview of some things that will be in the store.
1.25oz bottle of Synthrapol
Iridescent Paintstiks in gold, silver and copper to match the colors you get from rust dyeing
Misty Fuse, the lightest weight fusible web available
Steel Stars, guaranteed to rust
Tannin, to make stormy skies fabrics

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


DH and I got up at 4:45 am to see the eclipse of the moon. After Photoshopping the picture I took I was surprised to see I had captured something!!!
Not having the correct equipment or skill can severally limit your ability to create an image. I am glad I don't have either of those problems in the Rust-Tex studio.
Two months ago this picture appeared in the local newspaper. It was taken by Mark Hertzberg of The Racine Journal Times. I was so intrigued by this image I tried to create it with rust dyeing.
Here is the results of my first attempt.
I had planned to show you later attempts which are much more like the original photo but my camera battery died so those images will have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Godiva Galaxy

I am getting tired of making sunbursts using the round bottomed liquor bottles I have. I felt it was time to add a different shape to my rust dyeing vocabulary, so my DH and I spent a long time in a BIG liquor store looking at and discussing the finer points of the shape of bottles, especially their bottoms. I chose the Godiva Chocolate and he choose a square tequila bottle. With my bottle I was able to create a galaxy!!! With his we made margaritas!!!
I am just wondering if I can write this off as a business expense.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No Rust Dyeing Today

I spent most of today working on the new Rust-Tex online store. Hopefully it will be up and running by Sept 1. The rest of today was spent tidying up the yard before it rains again. Read tomorrow's post to find out how rust dyeing can justify your buying Godiva Chocolate Liquor.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Iron Dye Pots

Here is a picture of the three cast iron pots I use to dye Rust-Tex t-shirts. As you can see the dye in each pot is a slightly different shade. They must be magic pots as I mixed all three dye baths exactly the same and the t-shirts came out very close in color.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bad Timing

Today was a busy day for me. I am working hard to get the store at Rust-Tex.Com up and running by September 1. So between trying to figure out how to do the shipping, how to make the new shopping cart program work and basting the commission quilt, it was about 3pm when I was ready to start working in the Rust-Tex Dye Studio, which is outside on my deck. That is EXACTLY when it started to rain. The picture of the day celebrates less busy times and dryer days, with the message to enjoy them while you can.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stars and Stripes Forever!!!

Here is a photo of one of the Stars and Stripes T-Shirt I have been making.There are super easy. I use the industrial waste from the stars I had cut for the Image Transfer Kit and a bit of rebar a thoughtful friend brought me.
You can see this shirt is too big for my model, "Theresa". She is a size 4. The shirt is a 2x. In order for Theresa to live in my studio, she has to model ALL the wearables, what ever size they are. I guess we are in agreement on that point because she never argues with me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Maps Rayon Top

Here are photos of the Rayon top I said I would post.
Of course you want to see the finished product, so...
TA DA!!!
The next picture is of the initial set up. I used rubber bands to hold two rusty cake pans together. The rayon top was wrapped around them and held in place with more rubber bands. Copper wire was wrapped round and round and round. I used three time as much wire on this than I usually use.
You can see the texture of the cake pans near the top of the set up. You can not see the rubber bands because they are white and blend into the shirt. The rubber bands are very visible in the photo below. I took this photo after I removed the copper wire while it was still wrapped around the cake pans.
I was hoping to get a stronger liner pattern on the shirt. But I am not unhappy with the way it turned out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Weather Forecast

Here is the 5 day forecast from todays newspaper.

There are thunderstorms expected all week. So why is the local meteorologist smiling? Is he evil? No he just knows this is the perfect weather to make "Trees" fabrics, which is what I always sell out of before the rust dye season starts again.
The opportunity to create "Trees" fabric did not occur earlier this summer because we had a really dry June and July.
With rain in the forecast, I am happily making "Trees", "Maps", and even trying a "Stars and Stripes" t-shirt. I am making another attempt at a "Trees" t-shirt. Tomorrow I will post a picture of a fabulous "Maps" rayon top!

Monday, August 20, 2007

YUMMY Silk Ribbon

This is a picture of some double sided silk satin ribbon that I dyed with some old rusty stuff out on my deck.
This is why I LOVE rust dyeing!!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Trees Shirt

This first picture is how the "Trees" t-shirt looked just before I rinsed it. I wanted to show you how the rust dust was arranged around the bottom of the shirt. Also how dark the patterning looked. Here is the finished shirt after it was rinsed, washed, and artfully arranged on Theresa, my model.
Here is a detail of the bust area.

The patterning came out the strongest inside the shirt.

I had expected "Trees" not "Maps". The color I had hoped for in the shoulder area and near the bottom never developed. Over all it just looks like a dirty shirt. I do learn from my mistakes and will try this again sometime but not tomorrow. We are moving our youngest daughter into her first college dorm room and leaving her in a different city to start a new chapter in her life.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A "Trees" T-Shirt In The Making

When I was at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL, someone asked if I had any t-shirts that had the kind of patterning that I call "Trees" on it. I had to tell her I didn't. But when I got home I figured out how I might get that kind of patterning on a t-shirt.
Here is what I did:

First, I unrolled steel wool pads and put them inside the t-shirt, in the bust area. After adding some salt and water, I gathered up that area and wrapped copper wire very tightly around it.

For the set up I put the shoulders down on the tray so the water would wick a certain way. I let the bottom of the t-shirt fall down into the tray. Not trusting that there would be enough iron liquor to dye the shoulders and the bottom of the t-shirt I sprinkled some rust dust on the bottom of the shrit. (not shown) It has been standing in this position for several days in the rain. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be cooperative enough so I can rinse it out. Can't wait to see what I got!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Rainy Day in Wisconsin

I knew it was going to rain today so why I did some Stormy Skies set ups yesterday is beyond me!!!
I guess I was tried of doing black dye baths for t-shirts. And felt like doing something more creative.
I set up this little linen piece that had just the perfect place for a landscape in the oval embroidery.

Here is the original set up.

I use that little rake to shape the fabric wrinkles. The rubber gloves I wear don't allow for such fine detail work.

Here is the same piece about and hour later.

An hour after that.

I was worried that the area inside the oval would never turn black. Then it got too dark to take any more pictures.

First thing in the morning, taken while it is still wet from the rain

In the morning things turned out just perfect.
After the rinse out (which I did in the basement because it WAS raining hard this morning) I ended up with this.Neat, Huh?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rayon Top

The first time I ever saw scenic jasper I was about 19 years old. I loved the way the colors flowed creating a landscape.
Front of rayon top
It is natural that when I need a name for this type of patterning I called it Jasper.

Back of rayon top

I later found out that iron oxide provides the coloring for jaspers.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hangin' in There

I am so busy having adventures in rust dyeing that I am not finding time to post about them. But I just had to share this with all you readers. This is a picture of a 100% polyester scarf dyed with rust (and tannin). I took this picture was after the scarf went through the washing machine. Originally it was a white scarf with a woven pattern that I saw at a garage sale. Based on the price I decided I wouldn't be out very much money if it didn't work. So I gave the lady her asking price of 50 cents. It worked and you can see it is gorgeous.
Because my rust dye season has to end in mid September this year, I am working at rust dyeing as much as I can!!! I am making t-shirts to sell at Christmas time sales. I am also experimenting with other clothing. Stay tuned for more pictures soon.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Clean Up Day

I took another day off from rust dyeing to clean up the room where I store the fabric, chemicals, and protective clothing i use in the Rust-Tex Studio. I should have taken a before and after picture but it is painful to admit part of my house looked that bad.
This room is just off the kitchen. You pass through it on your way to the deck. When we moved in almost 20 years ago it was a mud room with a sink and toilet bowl. That was great when we had little girls playing in the yard. As they grew up, it became the recycling center. We sorted recyclables into 12 different categories and each had to be processed a different way to get them recycled. Now our city uses a single stream method of recycling so it all goes into the same bucket. “YEAH” to that but “BOO” to the way the mudroom filled up with other stuff. The final straw came when that nice blue tub you see in the picture, which is full of fabric on its way to becoming Rust-Tex, was forced to sit in the middle of the room because there was so much other stuff in the mudroom that you couldn’t squeeze around it. At that point, I felt something well up in me. The useless stuff disappeared and everything organized itself neatly on the shelves. I am not sure how what happened. It might have had something to do with my reading the last Harry Potter book over the week-end.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Oh Where, Oh Where Have I Been?

Time sure flies when you are having fun. I had not realized that it has been over a month since my last post. I was busy in July not with rust dyeing per say, but with events that Rust-Tex puts in my life. First I wrote an article on rust dyeing for Fibre and Stitch magazine. It will be in their premiere issue which comes out Sept 1. There is still time to subscribe. Follow this link to find out more about Fibre and Stitch.
Second I was a vendor at the Batavia, IL Quilt Show. Here is a picture of my booth at that event.

I use clear plastic hanger to display the Rust-Tex fabric. The hangers are hung on horizontal rods so people can browse each piece of Rust-Tex. Each piece is totally unique so I want to give everyone the chance to select the piece they can see in there own work.

The very next week-end I was at Crystal Lake, IL at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Show. It was a well organized show. She even arranged perfect weather. I introduced rust dyeing to quite a number of people through my live demos and the great pictures on the Rust-Tex Instructional CD which I had loaded on the laptop. Here is picture of my both at that show. We were in a giant tent as you can tell from the picture.
My friend Merry helped me at this show.

We wore matching Rust-Tex t-shirts.
(Not exactly matching but as close as you can get Rust-Tex to match.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

...all about stars

I am producing a new Rust-Tex Starter Kit.
This one is for the Image Transfer Technique.

Here is a picture of the kit:

Here is a picture of what is in the kit:

Here is a picture of a wallhanging I made with the steel stars in the kit. I added a lot of commercial fabrics, mostly batiks.

Here is a picture of what I do with the industrial waste from the kit:

The kit will soon be available for purchase at Rust-Tex.Com

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

No Rust Dyeing Today

Today I was busy getting ready to teach a class on paintstiks at Mill House Quilts in Waunakee, WI. That means I didn't do any rust dyeing today, not that I didn't handle any rust dyed fabric. On the contrary I had to move it from one place in my studio to another to get to the paintstiks supplies. Actually I found I had piles of Rust-Tex all ready to sell in several place around my studio. So now they are all in one place. And I know what new labels I will have my youngest daughter (YD) work on next. She designed the Rust-Tex logo two years ago so I don't think I will be wasting my money sending her to The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Look What I Got!!!

If you are a regular reader you will know I have been whining about a wonderfully rusty cookie sheet that is rapidly deteriorating. On Sunday, June 10, 2007 I said I would post a picture of the results of the set up pictured there. Well here it is:
There is no white line around a heart, there is hardly a heart, and the red barely made it to pale pink. Armed with the knowledge of what didn't work but still wanting to use that cookie sheet. I tried the same set up but used green tea instead of quebracho red. I also didn't put any tea on area of the napkin that was not bunched up.
Here is the second attempt:
Notice how the "heart" is staying white. On point that white area reminded me of a big white cloud floating over water so...
Third time is a charm!!!
Looks like I made a Stormy Seas fabric instead of my usual Stormy Skies.
I wish you a successful creative experience, cause mine was way fun!!!!